|O, how I wish!|
I've always thought hospitality was important. I grew up in a family where we always had extra people for meals. It just helps to strengthen relationships and get to know people faster.
In saying I think it is important, I don't think it is a particular gift of mine. I'm not great at cooking (I've been doing it for a while now, so I CAN do it - I'm just not great at it) and we don't have a beautiful tidy house with a pleasing aesthetic environment.
However, I've always done it. Wherever we've lived and however small or pokey the surroundings. I always thought the value of it outweighed the things that weren't ideal. I've always told myself that it's about the relationship and the time together, not the quality of the food or the beauty of the surroundings.
But doing this last round of meals I started to wonder if that is really true. Do people find it uncomfortable coming into a house that is mediumly tidy (not immaculately tidy)? Do they find the unflushed toilet gros? Do they find the sticky kid's toothpaste smeared on the sink that I didn't quite get to, a bit yucky? Does our our mountain of unfolded washing just freak people out beyond belief? Especially people who have been recently married and live in a beautiful apartment with all their new wedding presents and only having to clean up from two people every day of the week?
I do try, but as you saw from my earlier post, life goes on regardless of whether or not we have someone coming for dinner. I don't mind (well, not too much, just a little bit) if people see the reality of our life - I just don't want them to find the experience horrifyingly uncomfortable.
Hopefully one day when they have five children of their own, they'll feel that they too can invite someone over for a meal, because after all, those crazy Kemps did it in the midst of their madness. This is my one hope!